If you are a regular Thrive blog reader, you will have noticed that I have not blogged in quite some time. Initially, I was just focused on some other areas of the business and my client and family needs and then this fall, our family life became very intense due to a Covid school closure after a planned school break and I feel like I am just now catching my breath over here!
With everything that has happened recently, I have not been the only one in my family struggling unfortunately. My son, Luca, who I adore, has seemed to also be struggling a bit. I have to admit that this recent period of challenge threw me for a loop! While I routinely work with my clients on remembering that their child’s development is not linear and to avoid catastrophic thinking, I struggled with this myself recently. You see, Luca, who has been in daycare his whole life essentially, started struggling with going to school after the planned vacation/time away, new school year, and then a two week closure due to Covid. Things are improving now, but wow, this really was tough for me as well! I thought it might be helpful to share about this as it has helped me clarify certain things about parenting that can be so tough for all of us, even me.
Here are my suggestions when you are dealing with a bump in your child’s development and believe me, these are all things I incorporated eventually and were helpful for me as well!
Here is what it looked like for us in that situation… Luca would comment in the morning that he did not want to go to school. I would reply with “I hear you love, you don’t want to go to school” and then a few minutes later would direct him to the next task on our morning routine like brushing teeth. He would often keep commenting and at times crying a bit and I would tell him, “I know you don’t want to go to school love, this is really hard for you right now. And I believe you can handle it because we can do hard things.” This pattern continued with him sharing his feelings with me, and I would welcome him sharing about it and listen, validate his experience, while affirming that I am confident he will be okay and not giving any room for him to think he can negotiate by being unsure about his need to go to school. While this didn’t always feel great because I would rather he go to school happily, it was certainly better than the power struggles we could have had!
Lately, we seem to be in a better place where this is coming up periodically but not daily which is a relief. We only had one truly explosive and aggressive meltdown directly outside of school, which is also a relief. I am grateful for the reminder of things I know in my heart to be true, which is that kids will struggle and it is okay. They will struggle, we will not know what to do, and it will work out eventually. Plus, this experience strengthens our ability to pivot as parents and our kids’ ability to cope with challenges as they get older.
We just need to focus on our connection and relationship with them to get through those times as well as our village. In case you are curious, my village involves my team at Thrive and I am so grateful for them and their ability to support parents. If you are in need of support as a parent, please feel free to reach out to us as we truly get it and want to help!
At Thrive, we take a positive, client centered approach to therapy that is focused on creating a genuine connection with our clients. If you would like to talk with a Thrive Therapist about yourself, your child, or teen attending therapy via video sessions, please reach out to us by phone at 858-342-1304.
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